Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hot Garlic Baby Corn

Recipe Courtesy:

Baby corn or Candle corn is a vegetable obtained from immature maize and it can be eaten raw or cooked. Now a days bio-genetically developed baby corn is available in the market. Baby corn is a favourite vegetable among the Asians, especially the Chinese and Thai people. A variety of baby corn dishes can be made such as kebabs, fritters, manchurian, chilly fried, fried rice, noodles and a hot and spicy Indo-Chinese dish Hot Garlic Baby Corn.
Hot garlic baby corn is a main coarse dish normally eaten with noodles or fried rice. It has the goodness of garlic, onions, red chillies, sauces and at least two varieties of bell peppers, green and red or yellow. We tried the recipe by super Chef Sanjeev Kapoor at least a dozen times and each attempt was a fiery hot success. This dish can be eaten as a starter or as accompaniment. The succulent taste of fried baby corn cooked in spices and sauces lingers on for a long time. This is a definite hit with your family, especially kids!
Black bean paste is widely available now a days at major super stores and that gives the dish a special consistency and taste. The recipe recommends yellow bell peppers along with the green ones but we made it with red bell peppers this time. These bell peppers are sweet and crunchy. Don't over cook them. Just cook them on high flame for just 2 minutes to get the best consistency, as you bite into them along with the fried crunchy baby corn. Sesame oil is a must but you can also use olive oil or peanut oil, in case you don't get sesame oil easily. Red chilli paste can be made at home and kept in the fridge for 2 weeks.
Garlic,finely chopped- 10-12 cloves
Baby corns,cut diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces - 20-25
Cornflour/ corn starch     4 tablespoons
Oil - 3 tablespoons + to deep fry
Dried red chillies,broken into 2 pieces    2-3
Tomato sauce - 4 tablespoons
Vinegar - 1 tablespoon
Red chilli paste - 2 tablespoons(Soak 20 long and 4 short chillies in water for 1 hour and grind to a thick fine paste)
Hot black bean paste - 1 tablespoon
Sugar - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Vegetable stock - 1 cup
Green capsicum,cut into 1/2 inch diamonds - 1/2 medium
Yellow capsicum,cut into 1/2 inch diamonds - 1/2 medium
Onion ,quartered and layers separated - 1 medium
Spring onion bulb ,sliced thinly - 1
Sesame oil (til oil) - 1 tablespoon
Red chilli flakes - 1 tablespoon
Sprinkle two tablespoons of cornflour on the baby corn pieces and mix well.
Sprinkle two tablespoons of water if you find it too dry.
Heat sufficient oil in a wok and deep fry baby corn for three to four minutes or until crisp.
Drain on absorbent kitchen towel.
Mix two tablespoons of cornflour in one cup of water.
Heat three tablespoons oil in a wok, add red chillies and garlic stir-fry for half a minute.
Add tomato sauce, vinegar, red chilli paste, hot black bean paste, sugar and salt.
Stir in vegetable stock and continue to cook on high heat for a minute.
Add both the capsicums, onion and spring onion and cook for a couple of minutes more.
Stir in cornflour mixture and cook till the sauce begins to thicken.
Add deep fried baby corn and toss well to coat.
Drizzle sesame oil, sprinkle red chilli flakes and serve hot with fried rice or noodles of your choice, or as starter dish.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Khotto - Guest post by Shilpa Sunil Rao

Making the ever popular healthy breakfast snack of coastal Karnataka Khotto/Khottige/Gunda is an art, especially the way jack leaves are chosen, cleaned and crafted into cups by expert women. Some months ago, Kudpiraj's Garam Tawa had highlighted perfect Khotto by Rekha Rao from Mysore.

Khotto goes well with coconut based red chutney with a hint of asafotoeda. You can also relish this with jaggery sweets like Madgane, Broken wheat(Dalia) or Moong Payasam, Daalithove or Sambar. GSBs also eat this with any coconut based curry for tea time. Whichever way you eat it, you will feel like eating more!

Shilpa Sunil Rao as usual shows her expertise in making khotto that looks perfect in all respects. Hats off to Shilpa, for a job well done!

Khotto with chutney and sambar

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Jackfruit Sweet Idlis(Ponsa Muddo) - New Year's Special

Traditional GSB cooking has jack fruit as one of the prime ingredients. Ripened sweet jack fruit florets are abundantly available in the season from Spring to Summer but one may wonder how can I come out with jackfruit idlis in winter! There is a way in which jackfruit florets can be preserved for use during off season. By caramalising them with jaggery.

My wife Meena learnt this trick from a friend and she has stored quite some portions of caramalised jackfruit in the freezer safely in Ziploc bags. When I asked her to make something special for the New Year's eve, she came out with a surprise for me, my favourite Jackfruit Sweet Idlis! With fresh ghee, these taste fantastic.

Tuluvas call this 'Pelakaayida Gatti' and Brahmins call this 'Halasina Kadubu'. I have given the recipe for fresh jack fruit idlis here. For caramalising, you can use the same proportion of jackfruit bits and jaggery. You may also check for the sweetness of the jackfruit before adding jaggery to make the dish just right.

Fresh Jack Fruit Florets - 1 cup chopped
Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup
Rice Rava(Idli rava) - 1 cup
Salt - 1/4 Tsp(Adjust according to taste)
Cardamom powder - A pinch
Ghee  -For applying in the idli moulds.

Wash and soak Rice rava in water for 10 mins.
Drain and keep aside.
Grind jack fruit with grated coconut and jaggery without adding water to a smooth pulp.
Mix in the ground pulp with the soaked drained rice rava.
Add salt to taste and cardamom powder.
Mix well.
Grease idli moulds with ghee, drop a handful of the batter in each mould and steam for 10-15 mins or till done.
Alternately, wrap in banan leaf and make rectangular flat packets(Cholke in Konkani) and steam as muddo.
Serve hot with fresh ghee.


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